Your BNZ Start-Up Alley ’18 finalists

We’re delighted to once again host Start-up Alley in conjunction with BNZ! There’s been a change in format for this year, with two categories and three finalists in each. The categories are:

Start-Up Accelerator – taking New Zealand to the world

This is aimed at tech businesses who have developed an innovative tech product and have their sights on potential growth and expansion beyond NZ.

Social Enterprise Kick Start – making New Zealand a better place

This is aimed at start up social enterprises with a technology component – businesses that have a social purpose at the heart of what they do.


Here are Start-Up Accelerator category finalists!


“We’re delighted to be selected as a finalist for the 2018 BNZ Start-Up Alley. Our mission is “matching people to jobs they love” and we’re busy re-inventing the way the world hires. All of us at coHired are honoured to have the trust and encouragement from Start-Up Alley Judges, BNZ and their business partners.

We look forward to the opportunity to share our vision and earn your full support, as we work towards increasing people’s dignity, globally, through great jobs.”
Andrew Nicol – coHired



“At Investify, we are changing the game for investors by empowering them with simplified, easy to understand investment research at the price of a Netflix membership.

We are delighted to be a part of BNZ Start-Up Alley and to be able to tell Webstock the story of our exciting Fintech venture that is truly going to transform the research landscape and make investing as simple as swiping left or right.”
Kevin Dutta Gupta – Investify



“We are very excited to be able to share KITT: the Digital Toolkit, Simplifying how Landlords manage their Property Portfolios. It is a great privilege to be selected as a finalists for the BNZ Startup Alley alongside other great startups!”
Eugene Yang – KITT



Here are Social Enterprise Kick Start category finalists!


“Accreditron is a web platform that makes it easier for NGOs and Charities to spend less time on paperwork. We save organisations time and reduce risk by making it simple to share up-to-date and quality information across the Social Sector and Government.

We’re honoured to be selected as a BNZ Start-Up Alley finalist and are grateful for the opportunity to present our work and share some of our insights with the community.”
Ashlyn Baum – Accreditron


Talk Town

Talk Town
“The Talk Town team are stoked to be finalists in the BNZ Start-up Alley competition. We look forward to making the most of this great experience, and improving outcomes for deaf kids around the globe. The Talk Town game leverages deaf kids’ strengths to empower them with vital self-advocacy and communication skills”

Zoe Haws – Talk Town


Whare Hauora

Where Hauora
“We’re super excited to be finalists for BNZ Start-up Alley, this a fantastic opportunity towards helping the people of Aotearoa know exactly how their homes are affecting the health of their whānau.”
Hiria Te Rangi – Whare Hauora


BNZ Start-Up Alley ’17 finalists

We’re delighted to once again host Start-up Alley in conjunction with BNZ! 2017 saw the highest number of entries we’ve had and a wide range of really amazing companies. We had to choose six finalists, though, and here they are…



“We’re excited about engaging with other start-ups and the innovation community as part of BNZ Start-up Alley ’17. Clvr applications harness AI for improved human interactions.”
Marc Potter – CLVR




“We are so grateful to be one of the finalists for Webstock Start-up Alley 2017. Collaborate Wellington is maximising the capacity of community organisations and empowering individuals to create positive change through transforming the landscape of volunteering.”
Ceara McAuliffe Bickerton – Collaborate




“At Authentic we’re super passionate about building platforms for the GLAM sector. We can’t wait to introduce Curtis to the Webstock community and the rest of the world.”
Glen Barnes – Curtis




“The team at Butler Robotics are honored to be part of the BNZ Start-Up Alley at Webstock ’17.

We are excited to present DataTag, our new community platform for processing Big Data into datasets, to be used with AI.”
Cathy Butler – Butler Robotics




“Wow what a privilege! 2017 is looking like an incredible year for Genoapay and we are excited about this opportunity to pitch our Vision.

Genoapay is an ambitious and disruptive startup changing the way people pay for goods and services. The Omni channel payments solution allows consumers to get what they need now and pay for it over time with no interest ever!”
Shaun Quincey – Genoapay




“What a fantastic start to the year! We’re so honoured to be selected as a finalist for BNZ’s Start-up Alley. We look forward to sharing our passion and product in a competitive environment filled with innovative and entrepreneurial kiwis.”
Mike Simpson – MY F.C

Stripe comes to New Zealand!

We’re delighted to announce that Webstock 16 sponsor, Stripe, is now open in private beta for New Zealand businesses. We talked with Susan Wu, Market Lead for Stripe Australia and New Zealand, about this.

Webstock: So, give us the quick overview of what Stripe is, what you do, and the changes you’re making.

Stripe: Stripe is a set of tools for building and running an internet business. We help businesses accept payments from anyone, anywhere, and build new kinds of companies like Kickstarter or Lyft.

From marketplaces and mobile apps to online storefronts and subscription services, Stripe simplifies complex financial flows. Beyond just processing a payment, our growing stack helps businesses with everything from accounting, billing and paying out to third parties, to fraud protection and optimising for mobile. The Stripe dashboard helps users manage their businesses in real time.

Part of the promise of the internet is that physical location should be largely irrelevant. When it comes to buying or selling online today, we’re still a long way from realising this. Stripe aims to make that happen. By reducing the barriers to starting and operating a business regardless of location or means, Stripe hopes to bring more would-be companies online and accelerate the internet economy. Internally we say our goal is to increase the GDP of the internet.

Webstock: One thing a lot of people love about Stripe is the ease of use. Compared to, well, just about anything else to do with credit cards transactions. Was that a conscious point of differentiation right from the start?

Stripe: Absolutely! Having built and launched software on the internet for years, our founders — Patrick and John — experienced the difficulty of accepting online payments first-hand. They often opted to give the product away for free, rather than go through the time and pain of setting up a merchant account and gateway online.

On almost every front, it was becoming easier to build and launch an online business. Payments, however, remained dominated by clunky legacy players. It seemed clear that there should be a developer-focused, instant-setup payment platform that would scale to any size. That’s really where it all began.

Webstock: The big news for Webstock is that Stripe has just opened a private beta for New Zealand customers! Firstly, what took you so long getting here? 😉 Secondly, what does this mean from NZ businesses and how do they become part of this?

Stripe: Sorry we kept you waiting! 🙂 We try to be pretty thoughtful in our approach to new markets we enter, and that often means that things may take a little longer than we’d like. That said, we’re really excited to announce that we are now in private beta in NZ!

Any NZ business can now sign up to our waiting list on We’ll be issuing local invites and accepting merchants over the course of the coming weeks and months. Once we’re fully launched, any business will be able to sign up for Stripe and begin accepting money in just a few minutes. We’d love to hear from any NZ businesses that are keen to learn more, so feel free to say hi to the Stripe team at Webstock or drop us a line on [email protected] with any questions!

Webstock: We’re delighted to have Stripe as a sponsor for Webstock! How did you hear about Webstock and tell us a little about why you’re supporting it.

Stripe: Webstock’s reputation as one of the coolest events in the tech industry has spread far and wide. We’re unapologetic in believing the internet matters and share Webstock’s appreciation for the web and those who craft it.

We fundamentally believe that developers are changing the world and that’s why we’ve always put them first. Endless new kinds of businesses, services, and creative undertakings are now possible — however, 20 years into the web, we’ve still explored only a small fraction of the web’s potential. Like Webstock, we’re focused on advancing the internet and making it a more inclusive place for everyone. We’re genuinely thrilled to support Webstock (especially as you reach your 10th birthday!) and are really looking forward to supporting the local NZ tech community.

Webstock: Another item in the “pretty exciting news” category, is the just announced partnership with Xero. Can you tell us a little about how that came about and what it means?

Stripe: Yes! Pretty exciting indeed 🙂 After many requests from both Stripe and Xero users, we’ve teamed up to make it even easier for Xero users to accept credit and debit card payments from their customers. Now, whenever someone signs up for Xero, they can be automatically provided with a Stripe account. By enabling their Stripe account, Xero users will be able to attach a “Pay with Credit Card” button to any invoice and seamlessly receive payment from their customers no matter where they are in the world. We’re really happy to announce the partnership and look forward to developing some cool new integrations in the not-so-distant future. You can read more about it here.

Thanks Susan! Great to have Stripe as part of Webstock 16.

BNZ Start-Up Alley ’16 finalists

Wow! Our fifth Start-up Alley, in conjunction with BNZ! There was a great range of entries and some really strong applications. In the end, we had to choose six finalists. Here they are…

Good luck everyone!


“This is an amazing opportunity. Givahoy is an ambitious startup looking to enable safe, easy and fun app-based proximity microtransactions in a cashless world, primarily for charities.

But that’s just the start…”
Jim Boutcher – Givahoy



“We’re honoured and humbled to be selected amongst the finalists for Webstock Start-up Alley ’16. Can’t wait to see you all down in Welly! 🙂

Kandid is a mutually beneficial platform for New Zealand’s best developers and companies, to keep up to date and connect with the tech industry.”
Ezra Keddell – Kandid


Leaping Tiger

Leaping Tiger
“On behalf of the team at Leaping Tiger we are honoured to be selected as a finalist in BNZ’s Startup Alley!

Leaping Tiger is shaping a future for gamers where anonymity and faceless usernames are no longer commonplace. Wherever you are in the world you can find new friends, local communities and events – all in your local area. We are excited to share more about our vision with you this February.”
Jordan Lilley – Leaping Tiger


Little Yellow Bird

Little Yellow Bird
“We’re so excited to be a finalist in this years BNZ Startup Alley and introducing our products to even more people in 2016.”
Samantha Jones – Little Yellow Bird



“The Vizbot team are super excited to be selected as finalists for the BNZ Start-Up Alley 2016. Smart, simple building consents are another step closer to becoming a reality!”
Matt Cobham – Vizbot


Wireless Guard

Wireless Guard
“Wireless Guard is thrilled to be part of BNZ’s Start-up Alley and share our new smart security device with the Webstock’16 community.”
Taylor Howatson – Wireless Guard

Seven things: Jason Webley

1) Who are you?
I’m a musician and storyteller from the town of Everett, Washington, which is a town about thirty miles outside Seattle.

2) What do you do?
I used to tour around all the time stomping and screaming songs. But these days I’ve been building a houseboat, fixing up some old houses and cabins, and occasionally making up songs about giraffes and dead people.

3) How did you end up here?
Which “here” do you mean? This unlikely and lovely plane of existence, or Webstock? I’m still figuring out the first one, but I’m at Webstock because when my friend Amanda Palmer was performing here in 2011, she somehow convinced them that a scraggly accordion player who doesn’t really like social media would be a good fit. And this year they were kind and crazy enough to invite me back!

4) What are the most important issues currently in your field?
There’s a lot of talk about whether it is possible to make a living off of music in a world where fewer people are paying for music. I’m more concerned with how to make music something special and rare in a world where music is everywhere all the time. I suppose these things are not entirely unrelated.

5) Tell us more about your talk at Webstock – why should folks come listen?
Why should folks come listen? Maybe they shouldn’t actually. I mean – my talk is at the end of the day, they’ll be tired, wanting to get to dinner or something.

6) Who are your greatest influences?
There are so many! Here are a couple –

Herman Hesse. His writings did something to me – caused an almost hallucinogenic disorientation with ultimately a very specific spiritual trajectory. At a fragile point, it helped me find my path.

Lois Jameson. My sixth grade teacher. She was one of the first people to ever really inspire me to be a creative person and live an unconventional life. She gave me lots of encouragement early on, but what resonates more now is that she was very perceptive about some of my faults. She died shortly after I was lucky enough to be in her class and I think of her quite often still.

7) Tell us three things you love (eg movies, albums, songs, poems, artifacts) and why.
I love so many things!
You have to narrow it down!
Hmmm…. I’ll just pick a category, how about Tall Things?!

Watts Towers
These sculptures were built outside Los Angeles by a single man over the course of decades. Nobody knows why he built them. After he left, the city wanted to tear them down, but somehow they still stand. I wept when I first went there – it struck me as one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen – something about the mad tenacity of creation.

“The Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child” by Carl Sandburg
This is from a collection of children’s fairy tales called “Rootabaga Stories”. The stories feature vegetables and accordions and all of my favorite things, but this little story, overflowing with heartbreak and whimsy, is the one I always come back to.

I want one.
Jason and giraffe